The phrase "silk road" evokes vivid images: of merchants leading camel caravans over deserts and steppes to trade exotic goods in the bazaars of glittering Oriental cities, of pilgrims braving bandits and frozen mountain passes to gather scriptures and spread their faith across continental expanses. Beyond the exotica, however, this VSI will be a sketch of the historical background against which the silk road flourished, and an essay on the significance of old-world intercultural exchange to Eurasian and world history generally. On the one hand, Millward treats the silk road broadly, as a metonym for the cross-fertilizing communication between peoples across the Eurasian continent since at least the Neolithic era. On the other, he highlights specific examples of goods and ideas exchanged between the Mediterranean, Persian, Indian, and Chinese regions, along with the significance of these exchanges. While including silks, spices, travelers' tales of colorful locales, the main focus of the book is to outline the dynamics of Central Eurasian history that promoted silk road interactions, especially the role of nomad empires; and to highlight the importance of the biological, technological, artistic, intellectual, and religious interchanges across the continent. Millward shows that these exchanges had a profound effect on the old world that was akin to, if not yet on the scale of, modern globalization. Millward also considers some of the more abstract contemporary uses to which the silk road concept has been put. It is, of course, a popular marketing device for boutiques, museums, restaurants, and tour operators from Venice to Kyoto. More than that, however, the silk road has ideological connotations, used sometimes to soften the face of Chinese expansion in Central Asia, or, in the US culture wars, as a challenge to the "clash of civilizations" understanding of intersocietal relations. Finally, while it has often been argued that the silk road declined or closed after the collapse of the Mongol empire or the opening of direct maritime communications from Europe to Asia, Millard disputes this view, showing how silk road phenomena continued through the early modern and modern expansion of Russian and Chinese states across Central Asia. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The staircase wound round and round and round, till the prince was almost giddy, and every now and then he caught sight of a large room that opened out from the side. But he had been told to go to the top, and to the top he went. Then he found himself in a hall, which had an iron door at one end. This door he unlocked with his golden key, and he passed through into a vast chamber which had a roof of blue sprinkled with golden stars, and a carpet of green silk soft as turf. Twelve windows framed in gold let in the light of the sun, and on every window was painted the figure of a young girl, each more beautiful than the last. While the prince gazed at them in surprise, not knowing which he liked best, the girls began to lift their eyes and smile at him. He waited, expecting them to speak, but no sound came.
The First Confucius Institute of Maritime Silk Road was founded by Phraphrommankalachan to create a new way in the promotion of Chinese history, culture and language in the educational institutions, government offices, and private organizations which was established during the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Thailand. Phraprommangkalachan in his speech during the establishment of the First Confucius Institute of Marine Silk Road said that, Chinese President Xi Jinping's initiation of "One Belt and One Road" diplomatic strategy embodies a great contribution China makes to world peace and to the mutual development of neighboring countries. In the report of Hanban (2015), the establishment of the Confucius Institute of Maritime Silk Road aims to better develop and advance the Chinese language education in Thailand as a pivot on the Maritime Silk Road and to facilitate exchanges between China and Thailand in all fields as it also marks the starting point of 2015 ASEAN Integration. At present, there are 14 Confucius Institutes and 18 Confucius Classrooms in Thailand, and the number of Chinese learners has exceeded 850,000.
'At night, among the reeds on the bayou, Chicot could still hear the woman's wail, mingled now with the croaking of the frogs...' From one of the most daring writers of fin-de-siecle America, five stories of awakening that range from Louisiana's plantations and poverty-stricken bayous to its gilded cities. Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions. Kate Chopin (1850-1904). The Awakening and Selected Stories and At Fault are available in Penguin Classics.
The dramatic events of Maidan in February 2014 shone a spotlight on the immense problems facing Ukraine. At the same time that Ukraine was undergoing turmoil, its western neighbor Poland was celebrating twenty-five years of post-communism with a rosy economic outlook and projections of continued growth. How could two countries who shared similar linguistic, cultural, economic and political heritages diverge so wildly in economic performance in such a short span of time? The main argument of this book is that institutions, and more specifically the evolution or neglect of the particular institutions needed for a market economy, explain the economic divergence between Ukraine and Poland. This book discusses the evolution of key institutions such as property rights, trade, and the role of the executive branch of government to explain the recent relative performance of the two countries.
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